“Help, I’ve lost all my Qantas points!” is a plaintive cry too often heard from friends, family and colleagues of the point-savvy Executive Traveller readership, along with the more emotive but totally inaccurate claim of “Qantas has stolen my points!”
Why do Qantas points expire, when do they expire, and more importantly, how can you get back those expired Qantas points? And how can you stop those Qantas points from expiring in the first place? Read on.
Why and when do Qantas points expire?
Qantas sets an 18-month expiry period on all the frequent flyer points in your Qantas account.
This is measured against the most recent ‘activity’ on your account – an activity being either spending or earning Qantas points.
As long as you’ve spent or earned any Qantas points in the past 18 months, all of your Qantas points will remain safe in your account.
And every time there’s any activity on your account, that ‘countdown clock’ is reset and the 18- month timeframe starts all over again.
But if your account has been inactive for 18 months, without any Qantas points being spent or earned, then your account will be tragically and automatically emptied.
(Qantas sends a dedicated email to Qantas Frequent Flyer members once their account has been dormant for 12 months, with a follow-up 45 days before the points expire.)
How to recover expired Qantas points
Assuming your account has been inactive for 18 months, and you log in one day to find that all your Qantas points have vanished, is there a way to get them back?
Fortunately, Qantas offers a mechanism for returning all of your missing points: it’s called the Qantas Points Challenge.
As long as you contact Qantas within six months of your points expiring, the Qantas Points Challenge will reinstate all of your expired Qantas points provided you earn 2,500 Qantas points within three months.
That’s not a hard ask: you can easily rack up 2,500 Qantas points by shopping and paying bills with your Qantas credit card, online shopping with Qantas partners or even buying a half-dozen bottles from Qantas Wine.
We’ve heard of instances where those points must be earned from at least two different sources, in which case you’ll want to spread the love and think a little strategically.
But with a whole three months to earn just 2,500 Qantas points, that’s really no ‘challenge’ at all (even if it means earning most of your points with say Qantas Wine, and then topping up your tank with Qantas’ petrol partner BP).
How to keep your Qantas points from expiring
Of course, the ideal scenario is to keep your account active and keep those Qantas points ticking over so they don't expire in the first place.
Even earning just a handful of points every 18 months is all it takes – although he more points you earn, the closer you get to that next flight or business class upgrade.
Click here to learn five easy ways to stop Qantas Frequent Flyer points from expiring without even flying.